Guilty by reason of race.
- Publication date
- Guilty by Reason of Race, Evacuation and relocation of Japanese Americans (United States : 1942-1945), Japanese Americans, World War II (1939-1945), Asian American culture, Prejudice, Prejudice, World War II (1939-1945), Asian American culture
- Public Media Inc / Films Incorporated Video 4411 North Ravenswood Ave Chicago IL 60640-5802 USA (800)826-3456 (773)878-2600 http://www.publicmedia.com/
Examines the conditions of fear and prejudice which resulted in the internment of American citizens of Japanese ancestry during World War II.
Portrays the fear and prejudice which led the United States government to take American citizens of Japanese ancestry away from their homes and businesses during World War II.
- 2015-07-16 23:48:01
- The internment as you and so are the photographs that are its Chronicle. They were put together by the California Historical Society and sent on a national tour of museums the pictures were brought out of the National Archives. Into the national chestnuts. So is the executive order itself. If you think everybody in the. Boy's father. Of the millions who will study and feel the pictures probably none will experience more than Edison Uno and his family he and his wife were incarcerated so where is sisters Mrs Amy she had Mrs cake an echo. All. Of. Them and Rosie O. no experience the shock of remembrance in Washington where great decisions have been made. Go to that little girl was just about your one nine hundred forty two and you can see she was. A very blank look on her face because she didn't know what was going to happen I was just about the same it is Sunday came I remember kind of. Hung on for Dolly are something. The big people running around. Thing because you are you really felt like an American and never knew anything more than being an American and all of a sudden one day all the shopkeepers on the way to school and people you knew where they considered your friends turn their backs on you start calling it Japanese courts so friendly. Number we could only take the things that we can carry. Somebody that I question why we left behind. In your expression on her feet. Loneliness. Of an empty feeling that. This was her country he was being sent away for no reason at all. How would you react. To. Really. Remember the little boy who kept on saying to his mother going back to America. Almost certainly everyone in turn felt some profound bitterness for several thousand it was unbearable. As soon as I could as soon as the war was over they moved to Japan. Masowe are much she won of those former Americans lives in Tokyo. It's the body or after you've got to late. Well. They called all the disloyal citizen what they call in. And vast that they want to do that we want to give up the servant chip. And. Was this was on my own accord. So. I don't really knowledge myself and she turned and from there they transferred us to send a face so you were a citizen of no country no country yes that's right. Why did you. Well tell you. Actually I lost confidence. What thinking back before the war but. I want to call these anti Japanese. Especially in California there were very strong. And to gain from that and also. For and. I felt I mean that if either side. Wins a war. If I. Felt that if I remain in state that that. Why Jack. Jack you know. I wouldn't necessarily call it bitterness. It's a consciousness the self-consciousness I know sometimes I've been chastised for that I should try and forget the past and yet the past always had some relevance with our present feelings I walk down the street and I'm aware that. I may be the only only own Oriental in the crowd and you get this feeling of being alone in a cloud. Regarding. This happened when I first applied to work for the Y.M.C.A. my present employment by the way when I was being interviewed and screen as to where that would make a. Good Y.M.C.A. director. I was asked and I don't know how important is to be but I was asked whether or not all else being equal if I were competing for a particular job with a white fellow whether or not I'd be willing to take that job at a less a salary. You know I think that I go along the same tone that we do forget. Just how it was all I have time. Same. Thing might happen to Americans over in your and Germany. Some of the police who had the same situation. You might be put in an internment camp. But you can hold a great joy in your life. I've finished my hospitalization I was also a retirement now is that a captain in the United States Army and I was in full uniform all set to get on a ship to be shipped back to Hawaii so I thought I should get a haircut. Make myself look good on percent of all because I wanted my folks to be happy and proud when they saw the sun returning and my uniform at four rows of revenues. I'd hook away my hand has to be and I want to abolish shop and Oakland this is right near the military terminal and I saw three chairs all empty so I walked him. This file approach may assess what are you here I'm an American uniform What are you I says I'm an American this is no your Chinese Now if you want to know where my father was born I was born in Japan we don't cut job half. And I could have slugged them at that point but I decided. I should not the sought of a uniform so I just kind of Ron and I said I feel sorry for you buddy. I left out but this was in nineteen forty seven. So. It's a long time. And a lot of water's gone a little. And this test the thought of this country if they get together. And they've done that with the Japanese Americans I think that they have been forgiven you. But forgiving is not the same as forgetting. While the Japanese Americans may have been forgiven for whatever it was their neighbors believe they had no single act of espionage or sabotage. Ever was proved. And the Japanese Americans remember in large numbers every year they go into the desert to man's an arc at the foot of Mount Whitney to honor their past and attend their graves. Ironically they go there because of a problem they have as in every part of the population the Japanese Americans have a generation gap. Most of the oldest people most of those who suffered in the relocation camps want to keep quiet about it. The say in the NIE say wanted hidden but the signs say the third generation. Wanted remembered and studied and re-experienced it was day the youngest Japanese Americans who started the man's in our pilgrimage in one nine hundred sixty nine. It is the sand say who have four stories of vents up against the national conscience. OK In the beginning people who then of the fact that these young people were talking about the can. You know they didn't want to talk about it but three or four years that people don't really started looking into it but I think that people appreciate it now because it seems the finally talked about it and the pain is still there and the boss of one's dignity but the fact that you can be open about it and look and say that it's affecting their children. But if they talk about that that may prevent some of their children having to go through that. As a result of the war most of the people all of the people in the United States and Western United States that were of Japanese ancestry were put into the camps I think. This more than anything. Frightened and he said they didn't want to cope with it. They've been good Americans all their lives they had. Spent their entire high school career you know working to fit in the American society and then all of a sudden that society rejected them for reasons that I don't think they really understood the side from fact that they were Japanese. So they grew up. Trying to be Americans American slap them in the face I think this is perhaps some of the things that I saw when I went to the Manson our pilgrimage and stuff like that this is why it was an emotion but you talk to people in the start and to start trickling down their cheeks. That's how important I think that's how important that we look at it for sort of the the mental health in many ways of the Japanese American community that we have to look at these things rather than just try to bury it because going to come back in one form or another during World War two it was to the advantage to to the American government that Japanese Americans have a sneaky you know spying kind of stereotype and that was because United States is at war with Japan. Also it just shows how the stereotypes of minorities in this country are very dependent on the United States relationship with their mother country we have to realize the mirror the racism you know in America we have to realize the kind of oppression that goes on in our communities that still there we have to realize that. Even though the Four Four Two thought very hard valiantly in the Second World War two Japanese students in Georgia will beat up by returning Vietnam veteran sane euro group I just came back you know from killing kooks. Edison who know now lives in San Francisco he's an administrator at the University of California and a leader in Japanese American affairs. Thirty years ago when he was thirteen he and his family lived here you know when I was now a kind of Cemetery just outside Grenada Colorado. That's sad. Well there's a sadness yes in that. I look at these plants the cactus. And I feel the heat here. Sage brush. And you know it reminds me that. My mother who flew had to live under these conditions are like the the desert plants here you know she had to be very strong in order to endure under the circumstance. The food was substandard housing conditions were substandard but I think all of the physical conditions whether it was followed or whether it was the was there those things human beings can endure. Take just like these plants here you know they they they grow in spite of the weather but I think the most damaging thing was the psychological damage of what happened to the Japanese American family you know what happened to my mother who worried about her three sons who volunteered from this camp to fight for liberty and justice in Italy and France in the Philippines. Fortunately most of us have survived this ordeal with this experience. Without too much bitterness. Although we did pay a great price and I think that price is that we have very few outspoken leaders in our community we really haven't developed what I call a true American we are we are still second class. You know we were like a victim of rape. All of our constitutional rights were denied us and a victim who has been raped of his cost to tional rights because he believed in the Constitution in the Bill of Rights is victim who has been raped that way does not like to talk about it nor does he look at his attacker he does not point the finger at the one who is guilty but he looks at himself as being responsible for that unspeakable crime. And I think this is one of the stigmas that most Japanese Americans live with today that they feel a very heavy sense of guilt and shame that they were different that they could not prove their loyalty. Although in their hearts they knew that they were. And on the battlefield they proved it many times over. The. Last still there but this thing happened again. I would have to say it's possible of course but play I would prefer to say that it's not possible but as you're aware legally the law still in the books for example the executive order that call for the back to a small is up by the Supreme Court unanimous decision it is still a lot of laughs. So legally I presume if you want to carry out. Racism that can be done. Could it happen again. Have we changed enough to prove I don't think we had no I don't think I think it could unless we're going to have to take some affirmative steps in the area trying to develop a better understanding a better climate. Which we can and in the event of catastrophes of this type that will be able to react with the courage and strength and then we had before we have to reexamine what happened in the past. As one who believes in the principles of freedom and justice liberty I think it's very important that we recall our mistakes and I think that we ought to know that in one thousand nine hundred two. A mistake was made and American citizens of Japanese ancestry were incarcerated in total violation of their constitutional rights. And therefore I think it's very important that everybody know that this happened because it can happen to blacks it can happen to check on it can happen to poor It could happen to political discipline. Yes it could even happen to newsman because they too may be suspect. Trying to mold public mind this is part of an education and I think it's very important that all Americans understand and realize that this is part of our heritage the constitution after all it's just a piece of parchment it's a piece of paper and you can put it in a frame and put it up on your wall and you get it and parchment or get it screw lingo if you want to but it's still a piece of paper until you give it reality to you give it for years until you give it recognition and so I think that that's one of the main things that we learned and that is that even here even here and a country that loves this liberty and people who are devoted to free society. Would let a thing like that happen I think shows that constitutions are just pieces of parchment unless you give them a reality. Another part of reality is that people who look like this because they looked like this got very special treatment the United States Supreme Court determine that it was all right because of military necessity no one can guarantee that there will never be a military necessity again. In one nine hundred fifty the Congress passed over President Truman's veto a lot called the Internal Security Act one part of it provided for detention camps to be used in case of national emergency. Edison who know was one of the leaders in the drive to get that part of the Act repealed finally happened last year in the camps no longer exist but the executive order still exists in the National Archives in the common law in the memories of American citizens. The Supreme Court decisions giving it support have not been reversed so the question remains could it happen again and the answer is there is no reason why it couldn't. Trying to run Iraq. The cops. Now they come back that to a place and a time unique American experience. These pick at or in the heat and when the desert to look again at what made them different and separate from all that countryman. It had been nearly incredible. The United States was losing a war to Asians. As the Japanese had swept through the obscure archipelagos of the Pacific. And old wave of feeling had swept the American West. People who looked like those winners in the Pacific where mistrusted and feared it was decided that they must be moved away from where they would help that enemy they resembled. One hundred ten thousand Japanese Americans most of them American citizens were sent from their homes to detention camps in the great American Wasteland the decision to move them was made by Americans among the very best Americans all Warren was one of them. So where Henry Stimson Jondi McCloy Hugo Black and William O. Douglas Milton Eisenhower was a part of the program and so was Tom C. Clarke. The executive order to do it was signed by the president of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt. The leaders of the nation where the prosecutors the jury and judges in a significant American trial. Now it is possible for a defendant to look back to see yourself across thirty years back and that the cure your time when she was tried. The verdict suggests a question could it happen again. And. Perhaps a long haul. I will every battle Carol. Also on what happened. Well I think as. We made a mistake at the time of course these conditions existed that it appeared. But I think that the reason that I had then a basic foundation lane missed understanding. And then growing up in the West Coast. Take California. At least some people say that. The Japanese. That animosity or hatred grew as the Japanese American population increased the image of the yellow peril was created on the West Coast as a real part of the image there where these laws no one born in Japan could own land in California nor least said for more than three years no one born in Japan could become a citizen of the United States and after nine hundred twenty four No one born in Japan could be admitted to the United States. Those born in Japan are called the say their children born in the United States and therefore American citizens are called nice. They were almost never called Americans usually they were called japs. The man in charge of the defense of the West Coast when the war began was a lieutenant general named John De Witt He said A Jap said Japp makes no difference whether he is an American you can't change him by giving him a piece of paper the piece of paper didn't change their looks their problem was that they were conspicuous. I'm mad. Japanese dog strikes in the Pacific and Washington State Department gives the incredible news to reporters who have been awaiting news of peace negotiations with a sly war crazed Jepson whimper here I'll be told leads the L.-I be done little yellow belly spoke claiming the rising sun for their own. Japan's so-called negotiators give their oil iot smile while bombs are actually falling on how why. In American history there has been no event more conspicuous than that sudden and deliberate attack on that date which will live in infamy. It is remembered here at the grave of the U.S.S. Arizona and her crew. The problem for Japanese Americans was that they looked just like the pilots of those airplanes one of those who remembers as a United States senator. Well it was just on a Sunday for us. Or get ready for church but one they are rated I'll set this was the real stuff. Well for a moment I thought the days ahead would be very difficult once. The days were made more difficult by some old ideas and some efforts of the American Legion in California. Surprise attack at Pearl Harbor. Sarno to stun the American people. To the new green. And give them I wouldn't say it's right. In the nature of his warning them that they had to do everything that they could to protect their persona coast. Where the bulk of the Japanese population Merica Wisconsin treated. The American Legion one of the Japanese Americans moved so did many labor unions chambers of commerce agricultural groups and notably the Native Sons of the Golden West at that time it was a fraternal order open only to white people born in California. Champneys again Trish. Might say this is a. Only were they not loyal to their country. And we didn't want to really disloyal to me and I think. That book mind. The Japanese more clues. And they pay were excluded. In ninety three was. Now you say they were loyal to their own country but a great many of them of course were citizens of the United States. Where they to do you think loyal to Japan. Now it's hard to say that they want. Not because they were. They were only on to the creek to their homeland. The pressure was sufficient the order to move was posted March twenty fourth one thousand forty two. It was a safety measure that was taken and that the time I think it was good because of the way the Japanese attacked. Now the ones they gave us reason to doubt their sincerity and their fairness even while there's. The why do you think they were treated that way for instance and the Taliban's and Germans were not were also our enemies at the time. She could save they proved to be good citizens. The United States and Chairman people you couldn't be true you can even read any of. Us have team. But the Japanese had not proved this is this how they can prove that to us. What could they have done differently than they did I mean what what basis was there for a feeling that they were disloyal. Only the conduct of the Jap. Well when the war with. Ice quite chipper thing but. Still I kept on with my business until I can go to a law saying this anymore though they had a curfew on. And they are all real nice this being a little community where there are real nice we knew each other. Many friends trying to back this up but they couldn't do very much in the church friends. And until the last moment I says. They can't do this. Because the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. Thing. My orders to proceed to this camp and set up the security and I have just related to being a long cannot comment. A soldier's duty as you heard told her not. To reason why a soldier's duty is to do. And we were at war. As we were taught when you go to war. I'm not late the enemy. If he lived in California or in Oregon or western Arizona if he had been born in Japan or even if just one of the great grandparents had been he had to move. There was little time to settle his business so he sold in a hurry or gave it away or lost it. The up. Each person could bring only what he could carry. For many that was a baby. I. I. Mean. But. The memories don't come until I walk around with the best picture. Little Family which was which is there that you don't remember or. Don't recall the white. Come into focus. Little things like the reading further by the way we waiting to get on buses and the trucks to take us to the housing projects of ever graced the girls. I remember when we were on the back back of the truck. People. Down that whole. Thing it was difficult. To feeling of a little girl you could think about it I wonder what I felt at that moment. When I saw this picture I had no idea it existed and the surprise that if they even existed was just almost too much because I look back on O.T. that no question that those were directed there were dark days in Japanese they were dark days among Americans I think but in talking to my father he tells me that grandfather had any fear at this moment the picture was taken in fact it's my father his son would be in turn in a special camp in he would be responsible for the two boys that you see it there until the picture I think we see back there is a man that was very frightened. I was scared I don't know what's going to where we're going to knew that was my first train ride in my fridge out of state trip. I'm not scared. I was fortunate that I had my husband with me and I had two children son who is two year old daughter. And I just found out I was pregnant and I was scared. Because that's penny you know what brings Bethany. The. Sad Anita racetrack was an assembly area this is a nice she was there when she got married she and the bridegroom were taken under guard to a justice of the peace in Pasadena and immediately returned her mother couldn't attend because she was an alien. Now you haven't been back at this spot thirty years of you know what does it do. Good. It is a very peculiar feeling because home we were here thirty years ago they were barbed wire fences and the you know the guard towers and things like that and it. Just gives you a terrible feeling when you think back back on the things that were happening to us at that time. I looked back and I say could it have actually happened you know is that for real. Would my children believe me if I tried to explain it to him you know this is it's very you come back with mixed emotion you really do. The trees around here are the same but the the guard towers I'm tearing the barbed wire fences on here and that's because there aren't twenty two thousand people are true to its It's a very lonely feeling I think it's a different kind of a lonely feeling than the kind of lonely feeling we had when we were all brought here. To try to keep the family families together so that it was stable. Stalled two to a family. Please. If you know that you're just this in the stable you go to gold to us. Place clean the room. Let's not this is so I but when you lose it if you have to sleep. Mr to Kato went back to the Santa Anita stables for the first time in thirty years just to show us his former home he has no plans to return. It's quite a bit of World War two history a. Little. So people who are mostly because they were getting ready to be in place. To be sure to be learning from California beaches little to. Remind a this year which is ridiculous of course but. To fill to. Use it as excuse to move. To these places. This with our apartment if you're going to word use the word why did we get a room and. Not our stall we were given preferential treatment because I was obviously pregnant and it without that I should have a nice room with the floor and all our friends pain by then P.C.R. room which had a floor which had a window for will because this was the first visit to the place where he was born. Doesn't look like much good. There was a family in the back part in another family in the front part when you mean it was one inside and one house here because of this railing it was not there at that in all the army has expanded the chipping a stone so I do you do they go after going there we would go in front and then you pass through other people's quarter and then you went into the N.B.A. owner of the one or two into your own area but about the enclosure see of no privacy in those because I'm also is of a comp you could hear every Well they don't understand in the balance because you see that the topic both in there and you really have the whisper Otherwise everyone knew their business. Yeah I'm reading this is the part that is really degrading you had no privacy so ever the degradation of it all having to go to shower with the hundred fifty people at one time with no shower curtains I think they do the things that sound that rankle and and stay with me With us are rumored what would happen to a greater truth. I think we tried going through the Words like we would all be disseminated by. We would all be immediately placed on a ship to go back to Japan and what was then the fear was that what we do in Japan after all we knew nothing about Japan all we knew where the United States. Now there is some sense of awareness of the internment recently in the Dorothy Chandler pub in of the Los Angeles Music Center a sophisticated crowd attended a glittering opening of an art exhibit. Many of the paintings and drawings were done in mattress covers and wrapping paper and old boxes. The artists all were Japanese Americans incarcerated in the ten relocation camps. Their studios were in places with these names. To me like and man's and California. Post and then he'll a river or as on a. Rower and Jerome Arkansas. Mina Doak Idaho. Topaz Utah. Park MT Wyoming. Grenada Colorado. The fops and words are of those who were there. That we had to stand in line for everything. Mine for the mess hall line to take a shower. Lines every time. My mother never saw some morning can almost never reading them then some you time when we happen to be in the same as home with her. I think thing that. Comes to my mind. Must not happen to bad. But watch fast but. I. Think several They gave us the thirty six hours notice that there. Are signs you get paid for to devolve into your hundred dollars a month. That that was an arbitrary figure for all those who want it look like. We were put behind bars by. An enclosed by. The police I was born an American and I was American all the way through it I just I just want to every night in my. Head like a memo nightmare I want to. Run many different nowadays. Many here but there were also moments of joy and happiness and make a lot of. The little boy just a lot of building just put up in a hurry like men. Family was killed by a lie had a worry. They heard about it. I'll let the lateral flight. Hike a. Jump that is opportunity of being able to lead. In some cases the people were allowed to leave the camps to work temporarily or to relocate in the central part of the country or they could leave permanently to go into the army. No one had to the young men were classified for C. and Amelia's and were not drafted but twenty five thousand of them in the list. Like all the other kinds of Americans many of them died. Proving their loyalty. I. Want to put a second coming but composed of American citizens of Japanese ancestry with up the rescue of a loss but I do know World War two. The top story in the barge borrow still Brian. Layout but the place comes from Going to me Richard. Let's go to clubs up there six days a little bit broader birthright Germany comes back. Back to New York from overseas come with one of the most amazing fighting out but of the war it's the famous four hundred forty second combat scene mainly need a Americans. Hundreds of friends and relatives there on the pier for the boys their men have been wondering how they'd be received by clear for the court to discrimination and persecution against American born Japanese have hit them hard. These are Americans with Babylon or zombies or passed by any new middle comparable Saw Stop fighting it must be meddled outfit in the entire service. Wandered on forty second had almost four thousand Purple Hearts and today the nation I call it the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt American Islam is not and never was a mark of a break from than American of them is a matter of the mine. Owners to no one from a camp to the four forty second back his mother was still in detention. The first thing she said when he saw me and we had a chain link fence between us here I had my uniform on with my overseas markets and all. He said I knew you'd be back I said was How did you know he says well I prayed I pray daily and then from that we went into a visitor's cottage and this is one of the things that always sticks in the back of my memory that here I was a returning veteran from overseas coming my homecoming was sitting in a visitor's cottage with a U.S. marshal that pistol in all honesty I just standing over says I spent an hour with my family. Mrs homecoming. Let some real bitter and feelings in my mind because it's not the typical kind of homecoming you know that it is returning soldier gets when he comes back in the ward and if this is the best that they could do.
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